Sex charges dismissed against Willard man

Cary Ashby • Mar 28, 2013 at 11:34 PM

Two sex-related charges have been dismissed against a Willard man.

Marcus Hampton, 26, of 115 Crestwood Drive, was released Monday from the Huron County Jail. He initially was charged with sexual battery and contributing to the unruliness or delinquency of a minor.

Willard Police Chief Mark Holden explained why the charges were dismissed.

Holden said the way the statute is worded and written for sexual battery excluded "a certain element of that offense." The chief declined to elaborate.

"In my opinion, it was a poorly written statute," Holden said.

The chief said police suspect something criminal happened between Hampton and the suspected victim, but after several attorneys studied the law, they determined the context "didn't fit" with the way it is written.

"They are going to refile the contributing charge in juvenile court," Holden said. "They (prosecutors) are looking at it now."

Only juvenile courts have jurisdiction on the filing of contributing charges.

Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said a sexual battery charge doesn't apply to a "general relationship" between a victim and defendant and only applies to the suspect being a victim's teacher or substitute teacher.

"You have to have that relationship," Leffler said.

"We were looking at the relationship with a coach," he added about the research his office did.

Assistant Prosecutor Dina Shenker will be representing the state if a contributing charge is filed against Hampton.

Sgt. Shannon Chaffins started his investigation between late Saturday and early Sunday.

The suspected victim is a 17-year-old, but police have declined to disclose the juvenile's gender in order to protect his or her identity. Holden said Hampton and the teenager became acquainted initially on Facebook or another social media site and met each other in person later.

"It's not a local resident," Holden said. "The victim's father is upset about it."

Hampton has no previous criminal record.

"I don't think we have anything on him," Holden said.

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